Surgeon

Community and Health

Menu

Surgical Assistant
Surgical Technologist

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

 

Clerical or OrganisingHelping or advisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5Skill Level 6

Surgeons operate on patients to treat diseases, repair injuries and improve body function and appearance. Surgeons (General) perform surgery to correct diseases and disorders covering a broad range of medical conditions. In addition to operating, surgeons also consult with patients, general practitioners and other medical professionals to decide on the best course of action and plan procedures. They also check on their patients’ progress after an operation. Research is also an important part of a surgeon’s job to ensure that they remain up-to-date about any new technologies and procedures. Future Growth Strong

ANZSCO ID: 253511

Alternative names: Consultant Surgeon,

Specialisations:

There are nine surgical specialties:

Cardiothoracic Surgery: focuses on the heart, chest and lungs.
General Surgery: covers a wide area with sub-specialties such as breast surgery and gastro-intestinal surgery and colorectal surgery.
Neurosurgery: deals with pathology of the brain and spinal cord.
Orthopaedic Surgery: involves diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of injuries, disorders and diseases of the body's bones and muscles.
Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery: ear, nose and throat surgery, often referred to as ENT.
Paediatric Surgery: encompasses all aspects of children's surgery.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: deals with reconstructive and reshaping surgery and burns in all parts of the body.
Urology: deals with treatment of diseases in the urinary tract, including the bladder, kidneys and prostate.
Vascular Surgery: focuses on maintaining or restoring blood flow via arteries and veins all over the body.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

To become a surgeon, you would need:

  • a commitment to helping others
  • the ability to work calmly, quickly and accurately under pressure
  • excellent hand-eye co-ordination and practical skills
  • an interest and ability in science, medicine, anatomy and physiology
  • good communication skills
  • the ability to explain choices to patients in clear language
  • the ability to put people at their ease
  • to be able to inspire trust and confidence.


Surgeon at work
(Source: Royal Australasian College of Surgeons)

Duties and Tasks

  • Examines patients to determine the necessity of operations, estimates and explains risks to patients, and selects the best operational procedures.
  • Reviews reports on patients' general physical condition, reactions to medications and medical histories.
  • Consults with anaesthetists regarding the correct anaesthesia for patients.
  • Performs surgical operations.
  • meet patients on referral from general practitioners (GPs)
  • talk to patients, and families and carers before the operation to decide on the best course of action for their condition
  • explain the procedure and potential risks
  • arrange X-rays or other diagnostic tests
  • carry out operations using a variety of surgical instruments or machines
  • work closely with other medical professionals including other surgeons, anaesthetists, and nurses
  • liaise with nurses and hospital doctors after operations
  • carry out ward rounds
  • write to GPs about your patients’ conditions and treatments
  • train and supervise junior doctors in hospitals
  • Examines instruments, equipment, and surgical set-up to ensure that antiseptic and aseptic methods have been followed.
  • Instructs other medical, nursing and associated staff regarding the preparation of patients and instrument and equipment requirements.
  • Prescribes post-operative care, and observes and investigates patients' progress.
  • Maintains records of operations performed.
  • May specialise in particular types of operations.

Working conditions

Most surgeons work in private or public hospitals, as well as in day-surgery centres, although some may go into private practice. You would spend time in a consulting rooms, as well as in hospital wards, operating theatres and accident and emergency units. They generally work long hours, which may include evenings and weekend. Surgeons are also required to be on-call in case of an emergency. Surgeons work long hours, which may include nights and weekends as part of an on-call or roster system.

Surgeons operate in theatre rooms and everything within there must be completely sterile and surgeons must also wear protective clothing.

Surgeons have a high level of contact with their patients and often the patients’ families. They also work closely with a range of other medical professionals, including general practitioners, nurses and anaesthetists.


Tools and technologies

Surgeons use a range of specialised surgical instruments when operating on patients including scalpels, clamps, saws and forceps. They may also use equipment designed for keyhole surgery, allowing them to operate inside a patient without the need for a large incision. Patients are attached to sophisticated monitoring equipment during surgery to ensure that their vital signs, such as breathing and heart rate, are maintained. This equipment is overseen by surgeons and other medical staff.

Outside of the operating theatre, surgeons use technologies such as x-rays, ultrasounds and CT scans to assist in diagnosing patients and planning appropriate courses of action. They also use models of bones, muscles and joints to demonstrate problems and procedures to patients, and use as teaching tools for trainee doctors.


Education and training/entrance requirements

Surgeons are qualified medical practitioners. To become a medical practitioner you usually have to study medicine at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent with particularly good results. English, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics are appropriate subjects to study prior to university. Some universities offer medicine as a double degree and may have additional prerequisites.

To become a medical practitioner, you need to study a degree in medicine. Alternatively, you can study a degree in any discipline followed by a postgraduate degree in medicine. Entry into these courses is highly competitive and is based on a combination of academic achievement, performance on the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) and a structured interview. The UMAT is a written test that assesses non-academic personal qualities.

To then specialise in general surgery, you must register with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and undergo a training program at accredited hospitals, and ultimately receive fellowship.

To be eligible for this specialist training, on completion of your medical degree, you must work in the public hospital system for a minimum of two years (internship and residency). Following completion of any of the above courses, graduates must undertake one year of full-time employment (internship) at a recognised teaching hospital to be able to gain full registration as a medical practitioner with the Medical Board of Australia.

It is a legal requirement for graduates to be registered with the Medical Board of Australia before being able to practise as a medical practitioner in any state or territory in Australia.


Required registration and licensing
To work as a surgeon (general) in Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Medical Board of Australia.

 

Employment Opportunities

Employment of surgeons is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations.

Job growth will occur because of the continued expansion of healthcare-related industries.

The growing and ageing population is expected to drive overall growth in the demand for medical services as consumers continue to seek and need higher levels of care.
The strong demand for surgeons is somewhat limited by the number of places available in medical degrees at universities.

Did You Know?

The History of Surgery: A Bloody (And Painful) Timeline
https://youtu.be/ezZf_mOqyFU

 

"On average each of Australia’s 4150 surgeons earns $394,303, making surgery our highest-paying occupation."
 (The Conversation, 8 June 2021)


 

Surgical Assistant
Community and Health

Clerical or OrganisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5Skill Level 6

Surgical assistants are vital members of an operating room team and help surgeons with a variety of tasks before, during, and after surgery. The role of a Medical Surgical Assistant [MSA] is to work closely with the principal surgeon as a skilled second pair of hands before, during and after surgery, so as to maximise safety and efficiency.These assistants have a very active role during surgery and can find themselves performing a number of tasks such as suturing patients, holding instruments, helping to stop bleeding, positioning patients, and much more. Future Growth Strong

Surgical assistants may perform duties under a surgeon’s supervision such as opening and closing surgical sites, harvest grafts, dissect tissue, remove tissue, implant devices, and alter tissue. They may also be skilled to apply and remove splints, casts, catheters, IV’s, arterial lines, and administer local anesthesia. During surgery, they also assist to maintain an unobstructed area for the surgeon to work using a variety of means which could include suctioning, sponging, or using retractors.

Other vital tasks include verifying the identity of the patient and the location on the patient in which the operation is taking place. They also assist to maintain a sterile and safe working environment by covering patients with surgical drapes and position patients so that they do not suffer from nerve damage after the surgery.

The surgical assistant's responsibilities include applying dressings, sterilizing the operation site, inserting tubes and intravenous lines, providing pre and post-operative care to patients, and completing some clerical work such as record keeping and handling the phones.

ANZSCO ID: 2539

Alternative names: Medical Surgical Assistant [MSA]; Vocational Surgical Registrar (participants in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) training program) ; Service Surgical Registrar (doctors waiting to get into the RACS program).

Knowledge, skills and attributes     

To be a successful surgical assistant, you should be a good team player, with strong communication and interpersonal skills. You should also demonstrate technical skills and a strong working knowledge of surgical tools and equipment and basic medical tasks.

  • A graduate's degree in surgical assistance with the successful completion of clinical training.

  • A license to work as a surgical assistant.

  • Good manual dexterity and working knowledge of surgical procedures and tasks.

  • The ability to work in a stressful environment.

  • Physical stamina to work long shifts and move or lift patients and heavy equipment.

  • Excellent team working and communication skills.

  • The ability to remain calm and focused in the operating room.
          

 

Surgical Assistant
(Source: BetterTeam)

Duties and Tasks

  • Assisting with patient resuscitation during cardiac arrests or other life-threatening events.

  • Positioning the patient for surgery

  • Draping the patient before surgery - covering patients with surgical drapes to ensure and maintain a sterile operating field, removing patients' body hair, and disinfecting the incision site.

  • Determining the availability and inspecting sterile and non-sterile surgical equipment, tools, and supplies.

  • Adjusting and maintaining the operating room temperature, humidity, and lighting [and music] according to the Surgeon's specifications.

  • Perform basic procedures on the patient under the surgeon’s direct instruction, including cutting tissue or suturing - applying sutures, staples, clips, and drainage systems and clamping, or cauterizing blood vessels to control bleeding.

  • Assisting with the positioning of patients' bodies to protect against nerve damage or circulation impairment and assessing the patients' body conditions after surgery.

  • Maintaining an unobstructed operating field with surgical retractors, sponges, and suctioning and irrigating equipment.

  • Applying pressure or holding surgical sites open

  • Monitoring patients' positions, vital signs, and volume and color of blood during operations.

  • Assisting the surgical team with gowning or gloving and passing instruments or supplies to the Surgeon.

  • Assisting with the application of dressings, casts, splints, braces, and other devices.

  • Closing wounds

  • Inserting drainage tubes

Working conditions

Surgical assistants and Surgical technologists ensure the operating room is ready for each procedure, and work under the direction of surgeons to assist with surgical procedures. Surgical technologists and assistants know the terminology and tools needed for many different types of surgeries. They prepare the equipment and supplies, and assist the surgical team to scrub and put on gloves, masks, and sterile gowns.

During the operation, they make sure surgeons have the instruments they request at a moment’s notice. They may hold retractors, cut sutures, and apply or assist with applying bandages, then transfer patients to recovery. They are also responsible for counting sponges, needles and other instruments before and after the operation. In addition to technologist tasks, surgical assistants may operate suction equipment or suture a wound. Surgical technologists and assistants work in hospitals and outpatient surgery centers.

Their work environment requires a comfort level with blood, body fluids, and critically ill patients. They sometimes work overnight shifts, or are on call for emergencies.

Education and training/entrance requirements

A graduate's degree in surgical assistance with the successful completion of clinical training.

Surgical Assistant in Theatre
(Source: YourFreeCareerTest)

 

Surgical Technologist
Community and Health

Practical or MechanicalClerical or OrganisingSkill Level 3Skill Level 4

Surgical Technologists are to prepare the operating room for surgery, set up surgical instruments and equipment, maintain sterile conditions, and monitor the patient and equipment during surgery. They may also prepare patients for surgery and transport them to and from surgery. Surgical technologists may also perform a task called “circulating,” which can involve bringing in supplies or equipment and other tasks that do not require maintaining sterile conditions. Future Growth Strong

ANZSCO ID: 311214

Alternative names: Operating Room Technician; Surgical tech; Surgical Technician; Scrub Tech; Operating Theatre Technician; Operating Theatre Orderly, Operating Theatre Assistant; Operating Theatre Support Officer

Knowledge, skills and attributes       

  • Ability to work well under stressful and emergency situations

  • Able to act quickly, accurately and with minimal supervision

  • Work well with other people - able to work as part of a team

  • Exhibit manual dexterity

  • Attention to detail

  • organised and methodical

  • Physical stamina - good general health and fitness

  • Good communication skills

  • Empathy    

Duties and Tasks

  • Sterilizing equipment and surgical tools
  • Ensuring equipment in the operating room is set up and working properly
  • Getting patients ready for surgery
  • transport patients to and from the theatre and wards
  • assist in preparing operating rooms for surgery
  • set up, check, connect and adjust surgical equipment
  • provide technical assistance to surgeons, surgical nurses and anaesthetists
  • clean and restock the operating room, arranging instruments, supplies and equipment according to instruction
  • position patients for surgical and anaesthetic treatments. Operating theatre technicians usually work closely within a team in a restricted physical environment
  • Inventorying surgical supplies
  • Passing instruments to the surgeon during an operation

They are responsible for helping to maintain a sterile surgery suite, including preparation of a sterile instrument table, as well as other supplies and equipment necessary for a given procedure; they also gather supplies for sterilization after the surgery is complete.

Working conditions

Surgical Technologists are mostly hired to work in hospitals, although they may also work in ambulatory surgery centers or physicians’ offices in which procedures are performed. Both professionals do work that is physically demanding, and both are on their feet for much of their shifts. Most work in these fields is full time, but hours can vary and may include on-call hours for weekends or evenings and shifts that are longer than eight hours.

Surgical technicians generally report to RNs (registered nurses) and provide support functions to the members of an operating room team. The ability to anticipate the patient's and surgical team's needs during an operation is a crucial part of their job. Specifically, they often are responsible for providing support and comfort to patients about to have an operation, including transporting them to and from the operating room. They may also be involved in monitoring the patient during surgery and getting the patient into the proper position for a particular type of surgery.

Operating theatre technicians may be required to comply with strict uniform requirements.

Tools and technologies

Surgical supplies; instruments for the operation; steriliser;

Education and training/entrance requirements

A surgical technician may be an employee who has limited education beyond a high school diploma and has primarily received on-the-job training. Surgical technologists spend nine months to two years in training and may receive a diploma, certificate of completion or an associate degree, depending on the program. Prerequisites usually include a high school diploma and an acceptable score. Coursework includes anatomy, physiology, surgical pharmacology, sterile technique, anesthesia techniques, and the use of surgical instruments, equipment and supplies. Some programs also include courses in surgical robotics and biomechanics. Surgical technologists may also be certified.

Surgical technicians are generally expected to have prior experience in a surgical setting; they are often required to hold LPN or RN designation themselves.

Surgical technologists need a certificate or associate’s degree in surgical technology. Surgical assistants typically have experience as a surgical technologist or have completed a formal education program in surgical assisting. Surgical technologists’ work spans from the mundane and routine to urgent and critical, all with the focus on saving lives and aiding healing.

You can work as an Operating Theatre Technician without formal qualifications, however, a certificate III or IV in health services assistance or operating theatre technical support is usually required. You can also become an operating theatre technician through a traineeship in Health Services Assistance.

Employment Opportunities

Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Health Training Package that will expand your career opportunities within this industry. Operating theatre technicians work in hospital or healthcare settings.

Some work in day surgeries, endoscopy clinics and eye surgeries. With experience and further training, operating theatre technicians may progress to higher graded roles.

 

 

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs  
(Jobs not linked are currently being worked on)

Anaesthetist

Anaesthetist
Audiologist

Audiologist

Audiometrist
Biomedical Engineer Cardiologist

Cardiologist

Perfusionist
Emergency Medicine Specialist

Emergency Medicine Specialist
Hospital Administrator

Hospital Administrator

Wardsperson
Haematologist

Haematologist
Medical Administrator

Medical Administrator
Medical Imaging Technologist

Medical Imaging Technologist
Medical Laboratory Scientist

Medical Laboratory Scientist
Medical Practitioner

Medical Practitioner
Medical Radiation Therapist

Medical Radiation Therapist
Neurologist

Neurologist
Nurse

Nurse
Oncologist

Oncologist
Ophthalmologist

Ophthalmologist
Paediatrician

Paediatrician
Paramedic

Paramedic

Intensive Care Paramedic
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Social Worker

Social Worker

      

Material sourced from
Jobs & Skills WA [Surgeon (General); ]
CareerHQ [Surgeon; ]
RACS [About Specialist Surgeons;]
BetterTeam [Surgical Assistant; ]
Australian Private Hospitals Association [MBS Review - Surgical Assistants; ]
Work Chron. [Surgical Assistants vs Surgical Technologists;]
Surgical Tech Edu [Surgical Tech vs Surgical Assistant; ]
PayScale [Surgical Technician; ]
Rochester Community & Technical College [Surgical Technologist Qualities; ]

JobOutlook [Surgeons (General); Operating Theatre Technicians; ]



Surgeon

Vet

Firefighter

Garbage Collector

Paramedic

Midwife

Teacher

Dentist

physio

Optometrist

Chaplain

Nurse

Early Childhood Educator

Social Worker

Real Estate Agent

Special Care Worker

Chiropractor

Medical Practitioner

Ophthalmologist

Audiologist

Podiatrist

Medical Imaging Technologist

Speech Pathologist

Occupational Therapist

Natural Therapist

Prosthetist

SES Officer

Art Therapist

Dermatologist

Psychiatrist

Plastic or Reconstructive Surgeon

acupuncturist

Osteopath

Paediatrician

Neurologist

Indigenous Community Worker

Oncologist

Sports Doctor

Retirement Nursing Home Manager

Rheumatologist

Community Worker

Youth Worker

Anaesthetist

Intensive Care Specialist

Vet

Firefighter

Garbage Collector

Paramedic

Midwife

Teacher

Dentist

physio

Optometrist

Chaplain

Nurse

Early Childhood Educator

Social Worker

Real Estate Agent

Special Care Worker

Chiropractor

Medical Practitioner

Ophthalmologist

Audiologist

Podiatrist

Medical Imaging Technologist

Speech Pathologist

Occupational Therapist

Natural Therapist

Prosthetist

SES Officer

Art Therapist

Dermatologist

Psychiatrist

Plastic or Reconstructive Surgeon

acupuncturist

Osteopath

Paediatrician

Neurologist

Indigenous Community Worker

Oncologist

Sports Doctor

Retirement Nursing Home Manager

Rheumatologist

Community Worker

Youth Worker

Anaesthetist

Intensive Care Specialist

Surgeon